then ...part 4
then ...part 4 is the first exhibition in Iceland, forming part of a series of touring European shows. then' is a London-based organisation of international artists, whose aim is to exhibit, publish and discuss matters concerning contemporary art and life.
then part 4 is a group exhibition that explores notions of place, displacement or non-place. These models, whether real, remembered; or imagined are theoretical constructs that concern contemporary culture. Such ideas and ideals are constructed into narratives, as seen in these paintings and sculptures, that reflect on the emotive and psychological state (space) amid a place. Be it romantic or utopian, there is a suggestion that something is awry.
Stefan Bottenberg (Germany, Belgium, UK) relives his childhood memories in which suburban architecture of his native Belgium form the subject for his unusual wool and plywood embroideries. His ideal villas lay bare the hollowness of the suburban ideal.
Gisli Bergmann (Iceland, Australia, UK) shows paintings about perception: they depict glimpsed memories from encounters between anonymous silhouetted figures situated in the Icelandic landscape of his childhood.
Miles Henderson Smith (UK) also considers the structure of place and space - such as the idea of place constructed/remembered. His cardboard city presents an imagined space constructed from aspects of all the cities he has visited. Alongside his paintings, these represent the generic faceless places of travel.
Birgir Snaebjorn Birgisson (Iceland) Birgir Snaebjorn Birgisson in his paintings of blue-eyed and blond nurses creates feelings of well-being and safety in the viewer but undermines them with questions about the world of care, power and the human tendency to hide the corporeal, joy and pain with symbols of purity.
Tom Merry (UK) makes sculpted heads which are born out of his fascination with anonymous city crowds. They portray the faceless inhabitants of contemporary dystopias. Whilst remaining anonymous, they mask a potential for insecurity and alienation.
Andrew Child (UK) creates pieces which reflect on utopias and ask what makes such places perfect. The atmosphere is pleasant, yet there is clear dislocation absence that simultaneously creates desire for such idylls whilst feeling discomfort at its impossibility.